Legion attempts to fly, falls

As I sat in the theater Friday evening, I was reminded why I usually go to a weekday matinee for action movies; they have the second loudest audiences of any movie on any day of the week (the first is for Friday night slasher films). Luckily- or unluckily- for me, losing a few scraps of dialogue to the errant shout, laugh, or sarcastic comment did not seem to make a bit of difference when it came to  “Legion.”

It started out pretty quietly. After some foreshadowing narration over the opening credits and a very brief action scene to tide audiences over, it ambled around the Paradise Falls diner and gave us a little backstory on each of the characters. Now these characters, due either to some brilliantly thoughtful and refreshingly honest take on how reality differs from the protagonistic predisposition of most central characters, or just an uncomfortable lack of talent, were all unlikable. One central character, Charlie, spends what few actual lines she has saying that she cannot wait to give up her unborn child for adoption before ducking out for another cigarette while ignoring affection of Jeep (yes, his name is Jeep), the pitiful southerner with his empty little head in the clouds who still loves her in spite of her obvious indifference to him. Among the rest of the supporting characters are a mother and father killing time by arguing about their rebellious teenage daughter across the room while waiting for Jeep to finish fixing their car, a one-armed cook that might actually have been insignificant enough to remove from the movie without effecting anything, a mildly ominous stranger on his way to court, and Jeep’s father, Bob (Dennis Quaid).

The stagnant plot finally advances after an old woman goes crazy and the main character, Michael, shows up with a trunk full of guns. After slaughtering several dozen people advancing on the Diner, Michael sits everyone down to explain what is happening- God hates us all and has decided to kill everyone through his angels, who can possess the bodies of weak-minded people. Why they did not immediately possess Jeep is a mystery. When Michael stops explaining (I mean stops, not finishes) they just sit on their asses waiting for something to happen and doling out a few heartfelt speeches and making Sandra Anderson (Kate Walsh) seem more cruel than the killer angels outside.

The story finally stumbles its way to a conclusion that drops in half-a-dozen new plot twists without any explanation or resolution before leaving a gaping hole for a sequel to attach to.

“Legion” might have stood a chance if it could have picked a spot between “Dawn of the Dead (2004),” and a Christian Dogma fantasy/epic and stuck with it instead of running back and forth like an excited puppy. But it did not.